Wonderful news today! Little Lenora Karolys has been returned from China. In January, her father suggested that his wife join him in China with their daughter, then 2 1/2. Once they were there, Rodrigo Karolys allegedly kidnapped the child and left his wife, Olivia stranded in China without money. She returned to the State to look for help. The fact that Olivia was an illegal immigrant in the U.S. was one of the biggest hurdles.
An extraordinary international effort ensued. Many resources, including legal and diplomatic experts, criminal investigators and folks adept at Internet searches and publicity, collaborated to locate the child. Amazingly, Lenora was found last Sunday, abandoned in an orphanage many miles from Beijing. On Thursday night, she and her mother arrived at Kennedy International Airport to be surrounded by happy friends and family.
Mr. Karolys is being held without bond in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He faces federal charges of international parental kidnapping. He had to return from China when his visa expired and was arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport on Oct. 22.
Ampong those assisting this mother and child: Sanctuary for Families Legal Center, a nonprofit agency in New York and its multilingual team of lawyers, the Mexican consulate in Beijing, the State Department, Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York and a Chinese private investigator hired with the life savings of the mother’s family on Staten Island. All of this was set in motion on February 4, when Ms. Karolys’s older sister, Daniela Guzmanwalked into the Manhattan headquarters of the F.B.I. without an appointment.
Kudus to all involved in this amazing recovery.
You may read the New York Times story Family Fights Odds, Retrieving Kidnapped Girl here.